Monday, September 3, 2007

Add Your Memories

We will endeavor to keep an archive of rememberances available here. Please use this post to comment to with your thoughts, images, videos and links.

A previous post contains links to memorial postings on other sites. Feel free to contribute links to these in that post.

Please comment to this post for your rememberances. Thank you. Cheers!

51 comments:

Gareth Lowe said...

Michael Jackson was a wonderful man with a warm, personable style of writing, an extensive knowledge and genuine passion for his chosen subjects.
He will be missed by whiksy and beer lovers the world over, and also by many in the publishing industry, where he left a fine legacy.

Mark Silva said...

I had the great honor and pleasure of working with Michael in many capacities: as a collaborator on his beer clubs; a publisher for Beer Hunter and other entities; junior Beer Hunter seeking out or bringing to him new discoveries; on occasion as chauffer; and fellow real beer champion in a supporting role.

The first time we met Michael to discuss bringing BeerHunter.com to the world we connected on many fronts. From the many stories I've read about him since his passing it seems this was one of Michael's many trademark abilities born of his diverse and erudite background, curious nature, global travels and genuinely generous spirit.

About my background in advertising, he shared his early career involvement and familiarity with the Saatchis. Regarding the role of a publisher as archivist and curator, he considered these some of the highest value endeavors. When it came time to talk money, he left it to his agent as this subject—while important for the benefit of parity and fairness—was not a big driver for him.

He loved to write, educate, learn, sample, promote and present about subjects much more vital to him. While he may have been on the subject of beer or whiskey, his writing and lessons were more inclusive of major social and political movements. This isn’t to elevate his writing through post-humus interpretation; read for yourself (navigation is at the bottom of the page to the BeerHunter.com library) and see if there isn’t allusion and collusion to a movement, the celebration of art and the context of history within your pleasurable task.

Michael had a way of changing rooms, attitudes and perspectives for the better—most eccentrics do. I call him an eccentric in the term’s finest interpretation honoring his singularity and strength of personal conviction and purpose. Ever since we met over a decade ago, I close my communications with the perfectly civil “cheers” that punctuated Michael’s departures as well.

Cheers, Michael. Thank you.

Mark Silva
Co-Founder, RealBeer.com

marcusm said...

Michael, a sad loss to us all...
perhaps we'll see him again, next year in Bamberg.......... I'll be celebrating him next weekend at Bruxellensis, he will be there, but I am sure sadly only in spirit.

Marcus

Claudio said...

Michael Jackson.
Lo conoscevo da poco, avevo apprezzato il suo raccontare storie sul libro dello slow food.Con la sua guida mi ha stimolato.
In qualche modo ha cambiato la mia percezione del mondo.
Addio beerhunter (r.i.p.)

Claudio

roger said...

I often saw Michael at Fulham/London Broncos/Harlequins RL matches but for some reason never spoke to him. Too late now. It would have been great to have shared thoughts about past matches and past beers. He certainly rekindled interest in Belgium beers importantly in Belgium.

R P Davis said...

Michael Jackson was one of my idols. I recall being all tied up in knots when I heard he would be visiting the small brewery at which I worked in Pennsylvania, USA.

It was 21 March, 2001. I hadn't been brewing all that long. Just long enough to realize that no, he wasn't that MJ, and just long enough to realize exactly how big a deal his visit really was. Needless to say, I was stoked.

Stoked and a little bit scared. I mean, I was a barely-dry-behind-the-ears homebrewer turned pro who had, on date of reference, learned enough about making good beer to be slightly dangerous. And who was turning up? Only the man who I assumed was the most difficult man in the world to impress. I mean, here's a guy who's tasted everything, beers from one end of the earth to the other. What could our little brewery do, what brew could we place before this man, which could possibly merit a "Feh," of dismissal, much less a favourable nod?

It turned out that Mr Jackson was one of the kindest, most enthusiastic men I have ever had the privilege to meet. While our offerings might not have shattered his world, he had the graciousness to smack his lips several times, and professed to actually enjoy them! I was so nervous that I very nearly collapsed into a pile of empty clothing at this news. I have spent the last few minutes looking at the pictures of this visit. I've got them near to hand, should anyone wish to see them; simply email bob AT reconstructinghistory DOT com and I'll send them along. If you visit my blog sometime tomorrow, I'll have them posted.

Though I no longer work in the brewing industry, much less for the brewery at which I met Mr Jackson, the news of his death affects me deeply. His was a name which elicited a certain amount of hero-worship (and a very large amount indeed of career envy). At this moment, I am enjoying a pint of the beer for which he smacked his lips while professing to like "quite a lot indeed" - for it is still made, presumably to the same recipe he enjoyed - and thanking my God and yours that Michael Jackson walked this Earth, waking people to the wonder of malt beverages.

Larry Johnson said...

I went to a couple of Michael's tastings at the Brickskeller in Washington, DC in the early '90s. From 1993 to 1997 my wife and I lived and worked in Europe; a year and a half in Duesseldorf (o blessed Uerige!) and three years in the Hague. Sometime in early '94, I think it was, we spent a weekend in Brugge and visited the now-defunct Straffe Hendrik brewery to take the tour. While the group we were in were being given the overview of the brewing process, the front door opened and a couple of people came in. Since the sun was shining in the doorway, it was hard to see who it was, but I looked over...and did a double take. "That looks like Michael Jackson," I said to myself. I looked again. "That IS Michael Jackson!" Our group moved upstairs, but I hung around while Michael spoke to the brewery people. I asked a question, and Michael turned to me, saying "Are you a beer writer?" I said no, I was just doing some beer tourism as I'm living in Europe now, but I had been to his tastings at the Brick. One of my most prized possessions is a photo of Michael and myself on the roof of the brewery. I wouldn't know as much about beer as I do, or enjoy it as much, if not for you. Rest in Peace, Michael - you had the best job in the world, and you did it so well.

Steno said...

Prima di aprire il nostro birrificio artigianale Rhyton in Toscana, i libri di Michael ci hanno guidato sui numerosissimi stili e sulle birre di tutto il Mondo. Informatissimo, obiettivo, mai pedante, essenziale. Grazie (r.i.p.)

CHELA said...

His vision about this fascinating world of tasting-as I ussually call it- is absolutely outstanding and it will alst forever in each of his followers and fans.Personally speaking It's so great the knowledge I've acquired from his incredible and genuine way of writing, from his personal and innovating approach to his matter of study that I can only say a word.Thank you for existing. You will be in each sip of beer, on each piece of my writings and forever in my heart. A TOAST FOR YOU MICHAEL

R.K. Dickson said...

In the Early 1980s I was selling cameras in Denver and a bearded fellow asked about microcassette recorders. I recognized his voice from the radio and asked if he was Michael Jackson. Of course he was. This Michael, not that other one. He bought the recorder. Gentle with a good sense of humor. More of a whisky drinker, I've always appreciated his book on whisky and his willingness to laugh at himself and his (near)celebrity.

Ian Webster said...

I had the honour to meet Michael in Oct.'94 in Minnesota.While signing his book we talked(and lamented) about the Hartley's brewery in Ulverston, Cumbria which had recently been closed after being bought by Robinsons.But he gave me the good news that the brew kettles had been bought and installed in the Black Sheep brewery in Masham.He was a gentleman and a scholar.Together with the loss of John peel we have lost two great people who sought to educate and inform us without proselytising .We will miss them both .

Tom Duval said...

Michael's books provided a beer education for me. I still refer to them often and carry them on my travels. I met Michael once at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena where he hosted a tasting and Belgian food sampler.

He was as witty in person as in his writings. I'll miss him but I'm glad his work will continue to inspire those who are looking to expand their beer horizons.

Gavin said...

I never met the wonderful MJ, but his writing was the basis of my interest in beer and whiskey 10 years ago... just hope I can match a small fraction of his knowledge and enjoyment of our culture in my lifetime. He was clearly a great man and an inspiration to me. I will think of him each time I visit Belgium and toast a Lambic to the top man.

Gavin Fitzgerald, Brighton UK

Anonymous said...

Like most Canadians my taste in beer rarely deviated from the standard Canadian lagers (i.e Labatt's Blue and Molson Canadian). When I read a Michael Jackson review on Labatt's Blue where he said something to the effect that it was appropriately named since one was saddened to think that this was best selling beer in Canada. I was offended and curious at the same time. I thought what else is out there in the beer world that I am missing. Reading his writing lead me explore the wonderful world of beer and subsequently single malt scotch. One has to wonder what would happen if some of our world leaders were to sit down over a few pints once in a while.
Ah well, I shall miss his writings.

Bob said...

Mystic Mumbler, his words. An inspiration to people who take the time to taste and enjoy. I could listen to your ramblings on any topic: food, love, family, beer, wine, port and whisky. Your digression (one of about 5) at one AHA conference about enjoying pints in the pubs with your then newly legal age daughter made me all misty-eyed as I yet wait for the chance to share that time with mine.
I have one beer book with your autograph that I will go find and read again. I will make my next beer in your honor.
Cheers! and Thanks
Bob Schneider
Brewers On The Lake

Ed Chainey said...

Michael Jackson has enlivened and educated the palates of millions of fortunate beer drinkers who have read his writings and heard his voice on radio and television.

More than a billion smiles have crossed the lips of thirsty beer hunters around the globe as a direct result of each glorious new beer tasted at Michael Jackson’s suggestion.

I started home brewing at college in 1978. But it was Michael Jackson’s first book that gave me a direction back in 1979 when I wanted to embark on a lasting and enjoyable career. As a result, I have been selling quality beer for the last 24 years.

Michael wrote me on 17 Sept ‘86, “Do I get credit, or blame, for your occupation?” Well, Michael, yes you do! And for that I will be eternally grateful.

Rest in Peace, my fine old friend, eternally quenched by heavenly vintage ales.

John Harley said...

Beer lovers the world over have lost the most inspirational and influential writer and speaker. He will be greatly missed. I was lucky enough to have met him many times, and his genuine love of beer and whisky were so evident, and his enthusiasm infectious. He was also a kind and generous man. He once flew all the way from Washington DC where he had been speaking to attend a party I was throwing for Budvar! He was unique.

Anonymous said...

Some funny happened to me. A friend of mine went to Brugge and there he found one of Michael Jackson's books. He kindly gave me as a gift, but forgot to ask the bookstore attendant an english version of it. I still have, in my library, that great beer guide, written by him, but in flemish. I love the pictures, and that's all I can do about the book :-)

Teo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Anonymous said...

Michael was a good friend of The Ginger Man since hosting his first beer tasting at the Houston pub in 1986; over the years he has said many good things about The Ginger Man for which we are grateful. Watching videos from his television series and reading his books have been an important part of the training for new bartenders and managers at The Ginger Man for many years. We have lost a good friend, and the world has lost an expert who fervently searched out quality beer and shared his findings. Michael lived a good life (how many of us would love to have a profession that required traveling the world trying every beer we could find?), but we are sad that he is gone. Cheers, Michael! You will be missed.

The Ginger Man family
Houston, Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth

Kenneth Hart said...

This man was an absolute legend. A true inspiration, dedicated to his cause.

I will drink many beers in his memory.

Kenneth Hart
www.WorldsBiggestPubCrawl.com

Bob Durr said...

Several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of escorting Michael on a brief beer tasting expedition in the Reno / Lake Tahoe area. At the time, the local Northern Nevada American Heart Association affiliate was putting on an annual beer tasting as one of their fund raisers and I was part of the committee that organized the event. Michael and Fred Eckhardt were the featured speakers that year.

Even though I was well aware of Michael’s reputation as a beer critic, I was totally amazed at the depth of his knowledge of beer styles and beer in general. Words alone cannot describe how much I enjoyed myself. Michael was his usual witty, knowledgeable self and the day went by far too quickly. He was, and will always remain, the quintessential beer connoisseur.

That evening, after our beer travels, Michael hosted a single malt whiskey tasting at one of the local restaurants. What a guy !!!

I will hoist many a pint in his memory in the coming years.

Lord Kobol said...

Descanse en paz :(

Michael Pollard said...

While I consumed a lot of beer in my youth I have never been a student of the beverage. Thus my exposure to the Beer Hunter came tangentially when I was looking for information on Dublin pubs, specifically those linked with J P Donleavy and his classic book “The Ginger Man”. Michael Jackson had written an article “Failing to meet The Ginger Man” which was not only witty but a great source of information. I’ve visited Ireland twice now and have also failed to meet Donleavy, or The Ginger Man, but I have not given up the pursuit. And the search did introduce me to the Beer Hunter.

Anonymous said...

Sad to think that I never got to meet you and raise a glass, please take care of all of us beer nuts, and let us know what beers are available in the great unknown, so we can stock up here! My sincere sympathy to your family and friends, Alan, Dublin - Ireland

Thurston said...

We at Nightclub & Bar magazine are saddened by the passing of Mr. Jackson and send our condolences. We are running an item in our industry news about him. Can you e-mail me a high-resolution photo of him to me at tad@oxpub.com? We are about to go to press. Thank you, and best wishes

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson is my own way to discover beer & whisky, still now that Angel are going to drink with him... I've got his "New World Guide of Beer" (Italian Edition, 1990) here near me while I'm writing this post. God bless you, Michael for every moment of happines you gave us. Duccio Armenio, Brindisi-Ravenna Italy

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson is my own way to discover beer & whisky, still now that Angel are going to drink with him... I've got his "New World Guide of Beer" (Italian Edition, 1990) here near me while I'm writing this post. God bless you, Michael for every moment of happines you gave us. Duccio Armenio, Brindisi-Ravenna Italy

Nick Waloff said...

Michael Jackson will forever remain an extraordinary inspiration for me, I met with him when setting up the Campaign for Real Ale Canada in the 1980s. He simply said, You must be an economic refugee from Margaret Thatcher and you will need more than a brass neck!
Hundreds of micros and brewpubs, and good Canadian real ales later, he was so right.
Michael, you will remain for ever an inspiration to all beer lovers!
Nick Waloff

Just a Drinker said...

When I read the news about the passing of Michael Jackson, I like those of us who had the distinct pleasure of encountering Michael in one form or another in our lives, felt the deep sadness and pain of a loss of such a special soul. Through his work, his words, and his actions, MJ touched and inspired the lives of more people than I think even he could even fathom. And I think, in typical Jacksonian fashion, Michael would be humbled by it, and would have us convinced that we were the ones that touched him. I have been reading the tributes and stories of those who MJ has touched, and it seems the one constant, is the fact that Michael Jackson, simply put, was a decent, caring, honest human being. He had a very special gift of bringing out the best in people, and making you feel instantly comfortable and at ease with him. We all know MJ was as human as the rest of us, but it is clear that he has left a mark on this earth, and that his too brief time spent here was to do good.

Like others, most of my experiences with MJ were beer related, but I did have one unique encounter that just a select group of people in every country MJ visited had. To those who did not know who MJ was, this encounter would have been nothing out of the ordinary, routine at best. But to someone who loved, respected, and admired Michael and his work, it was a memory that would last a life time. A few years back I was working for what was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service. As an Immigration Inspector, I had literally inspected hundreds of thousands of people over the years seeking entry into the United States, including dozens of "celebrities" from every field you could imagine. I have inspected some pretty "important" and "famous" people, but being a die hard beer lover, which of course translates into one of the thousands of MJ's fans, I often wondered what it would be like to inspect the Beer Hunter. He had frequently traveled to my port of entry, and the odds were he and I had been in the same inspection hall on more than one occasion, but I never inspected him. The beer gods must have did me a favor, because one evening, up walks MJ to my booth, presenting himself, along with his UK passport for admission to the United States.

I started my inspection with "I know you, you are Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter." He smiled, and seemed a bit amused to be greeted to the United States with instant recognition. It was GABF time, and Denver, CO was his final destination, so there was no reason to ask him: "What is the purpose of your trip to the United States"? I told MJ that it was a pleasure to have met and chatted with him at a beer dinner years earlier, and to have listened to him lecture on a few occasions at some of his tastings. I of course told him how much I admired his work, and he thanked me very genuinely, for my support of him. I inquired as to any projects in the works. He informed me that whiskey, not beer, was interesting the market at the moment, and that he had a book on whiskey in the works. I thanked him again, for opening my eyes to the wonders of the beer world, and all its treasures. MJ left me with, "It is like when soldiers went off to war. When they came home, the farmer's daughter was just not the same." We shook hands, and he was off to judge at another GABF.

Thank you for everything you gave us all Michael, and when my time comes, I hope you have the pints ready, and we can share one again.

"just a drinker" who owes his love and passion for beer all to you.

Bill said...

Michael was a pioneer in this craft, plain and simple. Perhaps no one in the world did more to legitimize beer as not only as a worthy competitor to wine and spirits, but as an art form. The bulk of us who write about beer for fun can trace our roots directly back to MJ. Thanks Michael.

Shane Pfaff said...

Michael Jackson was an amazing man who was an inspiration to anyone with a desire to learn and appreciate beer. He will be greatly missed.

- San Diego, California

Anonymous said...

Modesty, knowing, working, bridging cultures and laughs with Michael - honours from years with Suntory. Sleep well dear witty pal. Shuna

Anonymous said...

I met Mr. Jackson at the GABF wome years ago. I was leaving my hotel room for breakfast and he was quite obviously coming in from a long night of beer tasting. Though he was not at his best we did exchange greetings and pleasantries.
Truthfully, I was a bit let down, given his state at the time. It was only later I thought that he is just like the rest of us, and despite his exalted status in our industy is only human.
Since his passing I have trotted out some of his old ramblings and I now think his "humanity" was one of his greatest attributes. He didn't try to make beer something it is not, he just tried to raise the expectations and standards of both brewers and consumers.
Mr. Jackson, may the four winds blow you safely home.

kandinsky said...

beer is a friend...beer is a good friend...friends can become your worst enemys....beat it!

Shane Randel said...

According to Michael Jackson “For the beer lover, Belgium is truly heaven on earth.” This quote rings true in my restaurant where Belgium is the featured country in the 120 plus bottles we have to choose from. He was and will continue to be a direct influence in my beer world. We proudly display his books and refer to them often to educate not only our employees, but also our customers. I first heard of Michael Jackson in 1992 when my friend and I decided to take on the craft of brewing our own beer. We bought, with our kit the “Joy of Home Brewing,” with the forward by Michael Jackson. “Michael Jackson”, we thought, “what does he have to do with brewing?” Little did I know he was everything beer and not the pop star. We were by the way, only eighteen at the time.

On August 30th, I logged onto my laptop and opened up my homepage, beertown.org, and
read the sad news. We have been celebrating his life since with toasts, while our tap handles remain adorned with black bands and will do so for some time. Michael, I know you had many friends, and unfortunately I never had the privilege to meet you, share a beer, and create a friendship, so, I will lift one now, toast you and say thanks for all the wonderful stories, and the influence, and legacy you have left on the beer world.
Thanks Michael, Prost!

Shane Randel
The Front Door Northwest Pizza & Taphouse, Boise, ID

Peter van der Arend said...

Mijn eerste ontmoeting met Michael was op het Bokbierfestival van 1998. Tijdens het brouwersuurtje sprak ik hem bij de Jopenbar waar ik per 1 november 1998 voor ging werken. De foto van deze ontmoeting hangt nu in ’t Arendsnest. Michael was zeer positief over het Jopenbier en ik was trots dat ik in dienst kwam voor dit biermerk.

In 2000 begon ik mijn eigen biercafé in Amsterdam. Ik dacht: ”zou mooi zijn als Michael het café kan openen”. Ik belde hem op en hij wist mij nog steeds te herinneren van ons gesprek op het Bokbierfestival. Michael zei dat hij graag wilde komen maar wel op de voorwaarde dat ik zijn reis- en verblijfkosten zou betalen. Mijn biergenootschap, Geheim Genootschap Arendsnest (GGA), regelde gelijk sponsoren en zorgden er zo voor dat Michael de opening kon verzorgen.

Het was mooi om te zien dat direct de pers erop dook en de opening van ’t Arendsnest vervolgens te zien was op het nieuws van SBS6 en in het Stan Huygens journaal van de Telegraaf. Betere pr kan je niet krijgen! Dankzij Michael. In eerste instantie was er overigens nog veel meer pers aanwezig omdat men dacht dat zijn zingende naamgenoot aanwezig zou zijn.

Michael schreef op zijn website een mooi artikel over de opening van mijn café waarin hij zei dat hij het jammer vond dat wij zo weinig tapbieren hadden (8 stuks op dat moment).

Jammer dat hij nooit meer de mogelijkheid heeft gekregen om te zien dat ’t Arendsnest nu 21 Nederlandse bieren op de tap heeft.

Peter van der Arend
Nederlands Biercafé 't Arendsnest

Andrew Mahoney said...

These fond, kind tributes are as refreshing and welcome as the beverages he urged us to learn and love. (beernewz@cox.net)

Laurent Mélotte said...

Very sad news. Michael Jackson did a lot for beer and belgian beers particularly. Our thougths are with him and his family.

Cheers Michael and thank you!

anirab said...

The Beer Hunter’s search is over

The world has lost its most revered author and expert on the subject of beer – and I have lost a friend. Last Thursday, Michael Jackson aka The Beer Hunter - no, not the other one - passed away in his London home at the age of 65.

Michael had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than 10 years, but never announced it until his symptoms caused some to think he was drunk. "I do not have, and never have had, a drink problem," he pointed out. He wrote about the past year in an extremely poignant final column for All About Beer magazine, which has now been posted online. I urge you to read it.

While the internet is already teeming with personal memories of the man who described himself as “the quiet, courteous, friendly Lithuanian Jewish Yorkshire Englishman”, his fellow English beer writer Roger Protz probably best sums up my own feelings about Michael Jackson; “He was the best - and always will be the best. His knowledge of beer is unsurpassable. His genius was to be able to write simply and beautifully about beer.”

It was Michael who, along with Grant Jones - former general manager of Wellington’s Regional Wines & Spirits, inspired me to start writing about beer. When I migrated to New Zealand in 1995 I could see Kiwis were getting excited about wine, but beer seemed to be largely ignored. While wine-drinking was becoming synonymous with a more modern New Zealand lifestyle, for many Kiwis beer drinking remained inextricably linked with negative images of the past. For some, it still is. As a newcomer to the country I found that both sad and unfair. I still do.

By contrast, Michael Jackson’s books were like a breath of fresh air. They portrayed beer in a different light, as a sophisticated and food friendly alternative to wine. “’Do you ever drink wine?’ people ask me, as though beer is a prison rather than a playground”, he writes in the introduction to his definitive Beer Companion. “A day may pass when I do not drink wine, but never a week. Whatever is argued about other pleasures, it is not necessary to be monogamous in the choice of drink. Beer is by far the more extensively consumed, but less adequately honoured. In a small way, I want to help put right that injustice.” Those words have inspired me to do the same.

I first met Michael the mid-1980s, in Brighton, on the opening day of the Great British Beer Festival. When I spotted him he was deep in conversation with his girlfriend, Paddy, but he willingly agreed to be photographed with me. Despite his high profile he was always humble and approachable.

Our paths didn’t cross again until 1997 when we judged together at a beer competition in Wellington. After the competition I’d arranged for us to fly down to Marlborough to spend a couple of days touring Blenheim and Nelson breweries. His recollections of that visit are still posted on his website www.beerhunter.com (search for “New Zealand”).

I remember a classic Michael moment during that brief trip when we were sampling beers at Mac’s with its newly appointed head brewer Tracy Banner. At one point Michael - whose appearance always reminded me of a somewhat dishevelled schoolmaster – peered at her over the top of his half rimmed spectacles and enquired; “And why do you call this beer ‘Real Ale’?” Having previously brewed ales for Cains and Greenalls in England, Tracy was well aware that Mac’s ‘Real Ale’ was actually a blend of two lagers. She shrugged uncomfortably for a moment before Michael’s stern face broke into a grin, his point made.

The last time I saw Michael was in England in April 2001. I met him one afternoon at his office in Hammersmith, West London, and that evening we went out for a few beers and a curry. Having mentioned that I was fairly unimpressed with Fuller’s Chiswick Bitter and surprised that it had been voted champion beer at a recent competition, Michael was anxious to take me to his local pub where, he assured me, the Fullers beers were always kept in excellent condition. Sure enough after three pints at The Andover Arms my opinion of the Chiswick Bitter had changed. We had a great night chatting and telling stories and I’ll cherish the memory of it forever.

I last spoke to Michael about a year ago when he phoned to ask if I’d be willing to contribute a New Zealand chapter for his next world beer guide. As you might imagine I was rapt: talk about a no-brainer! Michael’s last book, “The Eyewitness Companion Guide to Beer” will be published at the end of next month.

Although he lived half a world away and I didn’t know him well, Michael Jackson was my mentor and my inspiration. I miss him already.

In 2002, in an article lamenting the imminent closure of my favourite Oxfordshire brewery, he wrote, “In heaven, you can get Brakspear's bitter on tap, always in perfect condition. Hours: eternal” I hope he’s enjoying one right now.

Cheers Michael!

Geoff Griggs - NZ Beer writer

Anonymous said...

MET HIS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PHILLY AT A TASTING,WHAT A WOUNDERFUL AND THOUGHTFUL PERSON HE WAS.HE WILL BE MISSED.

La Cave du Vin said...

We here at the bar have always depended on MJ's exploration of beer to add to our own knowledge. We've always enjoyed the look of confusion when let someone know, "It's one Michael Jacksons favorites." Obviously they confuse the name with the pop star. Then, much like the man himself, we edjucate them on the beer they're drinking and the man himself.
Slainte, Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I'll keep it short, but Michael Jackson will be dearly missed by myself, family and friends as well as the beer community as a whole. I can't help but think of Michael every time I have a beer. All great things must come to an end, such is life. We miss you Michael. I know we will see each other on the other side and have some beers once again. Cheers, my friend.

gouden carolus said...

In 1982 I went into a liquor store in the Charles Village section of Baltimore and noticed for the first time an array of various beers from both the USA and Europe that I have never seen before. I was about to take a short vacation on the Eastern Shore and so decided to purchase about 12 different beers. To pass the time when drinking them I began jotting down notes about each.

A short time later I came across Mr. Jackson's New World Guide to Beer and found myself eagerly reading about the various beer regions around the world. It was then that I was hooked. I became a beer geek.

In 1986 I moved to, of all places, Munich and suddenly it was beeer heaven for the next 10 years. Bought my second Michael Jackson book, Bier: Über 1000 Sorten aus aller Welt, and then received my third, Beer Companion, as a thoughtful gift. I attended 10 straight Oktoberfests and began hosting an annual Beer Party, with the majority of the beer notes and questions for the "quiz" coming from Jackson's books.

A few thousand different beers (and saved labels) and a dozen beer parties later I still am very much into drinking, reading, and living beer.

I know this sounds more like a tribute to me than to Michael Jackson but it's not. Regrettably, I never had the honor of meeting the man but for almost 25 years he has been the inspiration for my "beer hobby" and for that I will be forever grateful.

Thank you Mr. Jackson.

misc said...

Our own special memory is October 1998 when Michael Jackson came to speak at our former Sussex Japan Society on the topic of Japanese Beers. Having agreed to come, he subsequently was engaged to give some talks in the USA. Rather than cancelling our little event, he flew back from Chicago, then was driven from London to Sussex and back in one evening in order to keep his promise. And all this for the token fee of a bottle of champagne, which was all he asked - a real gentleman.

He signed our copy of one of his books with the advice "Try the Moku Moku" and although it was a few more years before we managed it, we eventually had a fantastic visit to Moku Moku farm, which has its own brewery, deep in the countryside near Iga Ueno - see http://www.simpson.uk.com/beers/Japan/GoToJapan.htm.

During the evening I was foolish enough to ask the question "If you could only choose one Belgian beer, which would it be?" He came straight back with "If I could only choose one Belgian beer I'd shoot myself!"

His wit, wisdom and comprehensive knowledge will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Our own special memory is October 1998 when Michael Jackson came to speak at our former Sussex Japan Society on the topic of Japanese Beers. Having agreed to come, he subsequently was engaged to give some talks in the USA. Rather than cancelling our little event, he flew back from Chicago, then was driven from London to Sussex and back in one evening in order to keep his promise. And all this for the token fee of a bottle of champagne, which was all he asked - a real gentleman.

He signed our copy of one of his books with the advice "Try the Moku Moku" and although it was a few more years before we managed it, we eventually had a fantastic visit to Moku Moku farm, which has its own brewery, deep in the countryside near Iga Ueno - see http://www.simpson.uk.com/beers/Japan/GoToJapan.htm.

During the evening I was foolish enough to ask the question "If you could only choose one Belgian beer, which would it be?" He came straight back with "If I could only choose one Belgian beer I'd shoot myself!"

His wit, wisdom and comprehensive knowledge will be sorely missed.

HarryI said...

I only heard of Michael's passing when I read the recent issue of What's Brewing. Although I never met the man in person, I always liked him. I would take his Pocket Guide to World Beer with me whenever I travelled abroad and use it to search out his favourite bars in places like Bamberg, Dusseldorf, Koln, Heidleberg, Vienna, Prague and Bruges (to name but a few!). As I tasted his recommended beer which was always excellent, I wondered whether I was sitting in the same seat he was in as he meticulously scribbled down his notes on each particular taste. Maybe I might even see him pop in for an update. His favourite beers were usually my favourite. Cheers Michael. We miss you very much.

Beerlover420 said...

I toasted The Beer Hunter tonight at Gritty McDuffs Brewpub in Auburn,ME. with a Grittys Anniversary Ale.Later,a patron at the pub drank a mixed drink from his sneaker and I knew M.J.was there in spirit chuckling along with all of us.

richard sears said...

Mr Jackson has made a big impression on my beer quest ever since my wife bought me 'Great Beer Guide-500 Classic Brews' which I have been working through over the last 4-years. I have just returned from Southern and Northern France as well as Spain where I have fondly though of the great 'Beer Hunter' whilst sampling and sharing some good but not always good beers as listed in the book! This has been a passion of mine thanks to Michael and I'm so sorry to learn of his passing to the great brewery in the sky!!! Cheers Michael.

beer doctor said...

I can not believe that I have just learned of Mr. Jackson's passing! The world has lost one of the great culinary ambassadors. The Beer Hunter taught me that curiosity combined with humanity helps improve this world. My choice to toast Michael? Aventinus, Duvel or Anchor Steam immediately come to mind.
THE BEER DOCTOR

CJS said...

what a character he was...I had the real pleasure of drinking with him in 98 in Denmark in a brewpub...I say drinking not "tasting" because that describes it better. Warm, friendly, with a real lust for the pleasures of a tipple and a good chat. That's the way I'll remember him. The undisputed "king of beers", he was totally approachable and down to earth.
Cheers to the KING!
From Chris a fan in Denmark

Logan said...

A few years back at the GABF I was about to leave and Michael was up front and I asked him to pose for a pic. Then I said I was about to hear him at the homebrewers (KROC)event. He said he didn't know how to get there so I offered a taxi or to walk him. He said he fancied a walk and we proceeded and he chatted about whiskey, beer, rugby, etc. At one point on the 16th St. mall where there's always crazy stuff going on, someone put a big, mounted elk head on a bench. I said "Michael, would you pose with the elk?" He pulled out a microphone from his pocket and proceeded to pretend to be interviewing the elk!


My grandmother died in part from Parkinson's and it's very hard to watch someone you respect so much fall apart. It's painful to lose your functions but this did not stop him from promoting his passions.


There was another encounter years before where I asked him about Irish Brigade Stout. He gave me the details of how the brewery closed and we shared fond memories of drinking that beer. He knew all about it but with a Google search I find nothing. Like John White, he'll be missed but not forgotten.
A few pics at the top of this page: http://www.gr8city.com/beer-GABF-2006-pre-party.htm
Rest in Peace Michael - Logan